|Penrhydd Bach combined shed and caban- shed on the right. Last home of "Holy War" from 1961. Before that, "Wild Aster" from the mid forties.|
|Pen Garret shed- a tandem example with the usual pillars for block and tackle. Home of "Rough Pup" and "Bernstien", the latter for 30 years.|
|Australia shed, 1600 feet up a mountain! Here it was that "Alice" lay for many years. She was in company with "Irish Mail" for a while, and before that, between 1930 and 1945, "Maid Marian".|
I haven't uncovered all the sheds yet, and this doesn't purport to be an exhaustive account, rather some of the highlights which give a flavour. Unlike in other quarries, there are some first-hand records from the drivers and other quarrymen concerning the working and stabling of the locos, and these can be discovered in the books listed at the end of the post.
|A view of Snowdon from Lernion shed.|
|Inside Pen Garret Shed|
In the early days, the drivers were encouraged to take a pride in the locos by a system of bonuses and a sort of league table. Those that failed in this endeavour were generally ill-regarded and could be turfed off the job if they didn't mend their ways and buy some Brasso. Even in the fifties, photographs of the locos show them to be well cared for and clean in most examples.
Finally, I noted something special at the last shed I visited, at Pen Garret on the Braich tip runs. The shed was approached by a cinder path, something that will chime with railway enthusiasts of a certain age who remember bunking BR loco sheds. That the cinders were without doubt from steam locomotive fireboxes was almost too nostalgic to contemplate, especially as soon afterward I made the discovery of some old firebars, lying in a pile where they had been discarded probably sixty years ago. In conclusion, if you have a sympathy for small, impudent steam locomotives and a love of quarries, visit Dinorwig . Go quietly and please don't throw or displace anything. Just stand and feel the little iron ghosts around you as they chuff fussily about the galleries.
|Penrhydd Bach, with the later 1960's haul road a little too close for comfort.|
|A loco shelter on Egypt, with fairly typical quarry pointwork. Actually, I don't have any record of steam locomotives on this level...perhaps it was another kind of shed, but it does look suspiciously like a loco shed...|
|Diffwys loco blast shelter|
|A different type of loco blast shelter in one of the "A" inclines...subsidence has moved the walls nearer together over the years...Petra is quite slim!|
Some further reading:
"Quarry Hunslets of North Wales - The Great `Little` Survivors"
1st Edition - August 2001
by Cliff Thomas
Book Hardback 256 Pages 200 B&W Photographs
Publisher: Oakwood Press
"Delving in Dinorwig" by Douglas Carrington,
ISBN: 9780863812859 (0863812856)
Publication Date January 2004
Publisher: Llygad Gwalch Cyf, Llanrwst
Format: Paperback, 92 pages
"Dinorwic: The Llanberis Slate Quarry, 1780-1969"
Reg Chambers Jones
"Slates to Velinheli"
The Railways of Tramways of Dinorwic Slate Quarries Llanberis
Published by Maid Marian Locomotive Fund
Written by D. C. Carrington and T. F. Rushworth
|Maid Marian, on the Bala Lake Railway in 2016.|